Rebecca W. Rimel
Nonprofit foundation executive; Nurse
Leadership, Policy, and Communications
Business, Corporate, and Philanthropic Leadership
Began her career as an expert in head trauma and the first nurse to hold a faculty position at the University of Virginia. She joined Pew in 1983 where she created the Health Care for the Homeless program, which led to passage of one of the first pieces of federal legislation addressing homelessness. In 1985, she conceived and implemented the Pew Biomedical Scholars Program that since then has supported over 500 Scholars, including three future Nobel laureates, thereby providing a basis for improved medical care. During her twenty years as president, Pew helped expand dental care for children; worked to improve the nutritional value of school lunches; successfully advocated for increasing FDA's authority to regulate drugs and medical devices; brought attention to the overuse of antibiotics in farm animals. Finally, she has built Pew into one of the nation's most innovative public charities, with a broad mission focused on public health, conservation, environment and human services always using data to help solve problems. Under her leadership Pew has, with partners, protected 675,000 square miles of ocean ecology, and ensured sustainable development in the Canadian Boreal forest.